Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Black Is Black

I'd like to thank everyone for all the good wishes you have sent for my dad, it's very touching and means a lot. He's doing well at home and everything seems to be going according to plan with his recovery. After collecting him and taking him home from hospital on Sunday, we nipped off to RHS Harlow Carr where they were having a plant sale. I can never resist buying, even though I don't really need any plants at the moment, so I came home with dianthus - Early Bird Stardust and, the plant in the photo, viola - Roscastle Black. I don't think any flowers billed as black are truly black, this is more of a very deep purple, but stunning all the same. I've just got to find somewhere to put them now. You can read more about my trip to RHS Harlow Carr on my other blog, Through The Keyhole.

I had hoped to sow some carrot and parsnip seeds at the allotment on Sunday evening, and then again on Monday, but it's been so windy that I thought the seeds being so small might blow away. I do need to get them sown though otherwise I will be without parsnips again this winter. Hubby did manage to get some wigwams up though which he's pleased about, he doesn't think it looks like an allotment without some structures about the place.

We all still need to be on our guard as some parts of the country suffered a frost last night. We managed to avoid it here but I shall be moving my hanging baskets and other less hardy plants back in to the greenhouse if there's the slightest chance that a frost might hit. I hope nobody had any damage done to their plants by last night's frost.


  1. What you say about the difficulties of sowing seeds in windy weather is so true! Especially parsnips which have in-built sails on them to enable them to travel further in their natural (wild) environment.

  2. I was out in my greenhouse at 11.45pm last night (straight in from landing at Luton Airport) to cover my chillies and courgettes with fleece. Everything looked fine this morning though. Hopefully there won't be too many more nights like that...

  3. AnonymousMay 04, 2011

    Unfortunately I did have some casulaties owning to frost but nothing massive, mainly due to my impatience to get things out though I think!
    Gonna tuck everything in tonight though, snug as a bug!
    Glad you're Dad's getting there, bet it's a big relief for all the family! Warm wishes x

  4. AnonymousMay 04, 2011

    It's goo dto know that your dad is on the mend!
    Both dianthus and violas are on my 'must grow' list of flowers!
    It was cold here last night but there wasn't a frost thankfully!
    Flighty xx

  5. Love that flower, such an amazing colour! We didn't get any frost here in Gloucester, although the man on the plot next to ours was covering his spuds in fleece when I left last night which made me worry a tad at the time...

  6. AnonymousMay 04, 2011

    I had a bit of a courgette wilting incident with the frost. I'm leaving it in the hope that it may recover. If not I'll resow. My greenhouse damaged cucumbers have had it I think - they are a limp as a limpy thing!! I've resown as I think The Big Garden in the Sky is beckoning for them! Glad to hear your Dad is doing well. :)

  7. It's good to hear your Dad is home :)
    I love Viola's and that one is a beaut.
    We have no parnsips or carrots sown outside yet. I did try germinating some parsnip seeds on paper but no luck.
    We caught the frost but (hopefully) only some minor damage to our First Earlies that will slow them down. We have back-ups already flowering in the Polytunnel that i am itching to pull. Mo

  8. Lovely viola. I have Bowles' Black. Really velvety. We had hard frost 2 nights ago. Even fleeced spuds got crisped.

  9. AnonymousMay 05, 2011

    Hi Jo, Sounds like we have both had a few sleepless nights lately! Glad to hear your Dad is back at home too. I hope he is recovering well.

    It's been really windy here for days, so much has been burnt back but no frost so far. I really like violas and the way they self seed everywhere, your new one is gorgeous.

  10. Good reminder about potential frost. I have to keep telling myself that there could be frost this month. 1st June is my frost free target date. Kelli

  11. Good news about your dad!

    Parsnip seed + wind = disaster

  12. Beautiful viola, great to hear your Dad is doing well. Sowing seed in windy weather is "interesting" and should probably be limited to things like peas and beans! I have to believe that structures maketh the plot as I have so many of them. No frost here, but am very wary of putting anything out just yet.

  13. Glad to hear that your Dad is making good progress Jo. The wind has certainly been a challenge - I was trying to fleece my potatoes from the predicted frosts the other day - it was rather difficult :)

  14. Forgot to say that your viola is most attractive. Is it a scented one Jo?

  15. What you say makes total sense, Mark. Seeds obviously need to be able to travel, I never thought of it that way.

    Glad to hear that everything was ok, Surburban Veg Gardener. That's dedication for you.

    Sorry to hear about your casualties, Kay. It's hard to be patient, especially when the weather has been so good lately.

    Glad to hear that the frost missed you too, Flighty. I love violas, such pretty little flowers.

    I love dark coloured flowers, Paul. Your plot neighbour was obviously playing it safe, glad the frost passed you by.

    It's still early enough to resow most things, Ruth. The courgette may recover yet though, fingers crossed.

    You're being very restrained, Mo. I'd have had those spuds pulled and eaten by now. I've never had any problems germinating parsnips on paper, just make sure they're kept moist.

    I hope the spuds weren't too badly damaged, Vegetable Heaven, it usually just slows them down. Dark violas are very velvety, I have to keep stroking them as I pass.

    Thanks, Bluebell. My dad is recovering well, I'm pleased to say. Wind can do a lot of damage to plants, I hope you haven't suffered too badly.

    I'm hoping that all risk of frost will have passed by the end of the month, Kelli. Fingers crossed.

    I've sown my parsnip seeds today, Sue. It was still a bit breezy but I had to get it done. A few seeds did stray.

    There's quite a few structures on my plot now too, Janet. I'm still being cautious about what I plant out.

    It's hard to get anything done in the garden when it's windy, Anna. The viola is scented, it has quite a strong flowery scent.

  16. Love these flower! Such an gorgeous color and i am very inspired from your blog, I like it..
    Thanks for sharing..

  17. Thank you, Flowering Pear. I love the colour too.


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